Food on Friday: Austerity August

Poor Daisy is being forced to eat condiments this month. (Just kidding).
Poor Daisy is being forced to subsist solely on condiments this month. (Just kidding, child protective services).

By Julia Westhoff

Greece isn’t the only place implementing austerity measures right now. Here at the PVPost household, we’ve decided that August will be a month strong on saving and short on spending. (Okay…so Etsy and I got a little too friendly last month. This is my self-imposed medicine). That means no eating out, no fancy ice cream, no special ingredients…you get the idea.

Food_on_FridayIt’s been going surprisingly well. Take a look at our fridge, pictured above. I actually get a thrill out of an empty fridge – it’s a challenge that I readily accept. When Jay and I were in the Peace Corps in Panama, I learned how to squeeze the most out of cada centavo, especially when it came to food. There are tons of meals we can make with very few ingredients. It may not be exciting, but it’s healthy and easy. To get there I stocked up on cheap food staples, including: eggs, oats, lentils, rice, beans, pasta, corn tortillas, bread, peanut butter, jelly, bananas, onions, cabbage, salt and pepper. Whatever Jay has growing in the garden also makes it to the table.

You’ll notice this pantry contains no meat or dairy (except for eggs). Some folks disagree, but I’ve found the cheap foods to be the healthiest.

This week, I spent $50 at the grocery store, and came away with enough ingredients for all of this (plus snacks):


Granted, this type of eating takes planning. And I already had most of the spices that I needed. But still, we had great, satisfying meals and couldn’t have wanted for anything.

What are your favorite cheap eats?